OMSI Science Pub - Bonobos

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"What's Love Got To Do With It: Sex for Social Bonding in Bonobos"

This Science Pub took place at the Mission Theater in Portland, Oregon, on Tuesday, October 25, 2008. It was presented by Dr. Frances White, associate professor in the Anthropology Department at the University of Oregon: http://www.uoregon.edu/~fwhite/

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OMSI Science Pub - Bonobos

  1. 4. Bonobos and Chimpanzees ( Pan paniscus & Pan troglodytes)
  2. 5. Bonobo: Democratic Republic of the Congo
  3. 27. Following bonobos and…
  4. 28. Guides and trackers
  5. 29. What bonobos do…
  6. 30. Ecological: Fruits, shoots (THV) and meat
  7. 31. Chimpanzee communities <ul><li>Female with offspring in core areas </li></ul><ul><li>Males work together and are dominant to females </li></ul><ul><li>Food patches small and males feed first </li></ul><ul><li>Male relatives defend community and will attack and kill neighbors </li></ul><ul><li>Tool users </li></ul>
  8. 32. Chimpanzees
  9. 33. Bonobos <ul><li>Females are highly social </li></ul><ul><li>Males with females not other males </li></ul><ul><li>Food patches never small, females feed first </li></ul><ul><li>Communities are friendly </li></ul>
  10. 34. Minimum spanning polygons
  11. 35. Bonobos can use tools
  12. 36. Termite mounds <ul><li>67 large mounds in 4km x 35m transect </li></ul><ul><li>36 km 2 = 8870 mounds </li></ul><ul><li>60% with recent termite activity </li></ul>
  13. 37. Lomako Bonobo termite-fishing tools (n=4)?
  14. 38. Termite fishing holes?
  15. 39. Pangolin excavations
  16. 40. Bonobos <ul><li>Sex when not ovulating (1 per 6 hours) </li></ul><ul><li>Face to face mating </li></ul><ul><li>All possible age & sex combinations </li></ul><ul><li>Innovative </li></ul>
  17. 42. Females <ul><li>Females enter fruit tree </li></ul><ul><li>GG rub = food to come </li></ul><ul><li>Then eat </li></ul><ul><li>Making allies </li></ul>
  18. 43. Males <ul><li>Single male with group of females </li></ul><ul><li>Mother’s help with rank and access </li></ul><ul><li>Fighting for best time to mate </li></ul><ul><li>Alternate strategies (consortships) </li></ul>
  19. 44. Male v Female <ul><li>Females always together </li></ul><ul><li>Males usually alone, tense when together </li></ul><ul><li>Females have power over single male </li></ul>
  20. 45. Bonobo female power <ul><li>Males dominant but deferent when feeding </li></ul><ul><li>Females win over males without fighting </li></ul><ul><li>Females control of prized resources (meat) </li></ul>
  21. 46. Love and Sex: evolution of the human mating system <ul><li>Large brained, dependent offspring </li></ul><ul><li>Paternal care / meat provisioning </li></ul><ul><li>Paternal certainty </li></ul><ul><li>Concealed ovulation </li></ul><ul><li>Sex outside of ovulation for pair-bond </li></ul>
  22. 47. Monogamy <ul><li>Infant needs males </li></ul><ul><li>Pair bonding / monogamy </li></ul>
  23. 48. Problems: humans as primates <ul><li>Monogamy = sex is rare </li></ul><ul><li>Human ovulation is advertized </li></ul><ul><li>Different marriage patterns </li></ul><ul><li>Modern male hunters and sharing </li></ul><ul><li>Male v female choices </li></ul>
  24. 49. Humans: a woman wants…
  25. 50. Humans
  26. 51. From bonobos and other primates: <ul><li>Sex for friendship, not monogamy </li></ul><ul><li>Sex to reduce male aggression </li></ul><ul><li>Male behavior to get female choice </li></ul><ul><li>Power of allies </li></ul>
  27. 52. For males: more than one way
  28. 53. Humans vary
  29. 55. Bushmeat & orphan trade
  30. 56. Deforestation for agriculture both small and large scale
  31. 57. Conservation Efforts: <ul><li>Initiated in 1991 (approx) </li></ul><ul><li>Area between Lomako and Yekekora </li></ul><ul><li>AWF and ICCN </li></ul><ul><li>Gazettement of Faunal Reserve of Lomako-Yokokala (RFLY) </li></ul><ul><li>3,625 sq km, 10 primate species </li></ul><ul><li>3yrs funding - managed biodiversity area </li></ul>
  32. 58. Acknowledgements: colleagues, students, funding sources <ul><li>Boise Fund </li></ul><ul><li>Bonobo Protection Fund </li></ul><ul><li>Conservation International </li></ul><ul><li>L.S.B. Leakey Foundation </li></ul><ul><li>National Science Foundation </li></ul><ul><li>BNS-8311252, </li></ul><ul><li>SBR-9600547, </li></ul><ul><li>BCS-0610233 </li></ul><ul><li>North Carolina Zoological Society </li></ul><ul><li>University of Oregon: Vice President for Research </li></ul>

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